Naomi Sherer reviews...
I never thought of Clive Cussler as a science fiction writer, nor as a historian, but as I look back at his other books I've read, I have to say he is a master of both. In VALHALLA RISING, Cussler puts into another stunning story enough history and fantasy to keep me glued to this new adventure with hardly a break for a beer or the head.
Rib-cracking, groin-crunching adventure is ongoing without a hospital scene. The buddies, Pitt and Giordina team up again, as I knew they would, to thwart most heinous corporate bad guys in their attempt to take over the US government through mass killings. Pitt is so real to me I could imagine him preventing the twin towers' disaster.
The history as the title suggests is of ancient Norsemen linked with the earliest science fiction writer, Jules Verne. The mystery of the deliberate destruction of a luxury liner is solved by the restless mind of undoubtedly the sexist, richest, and most intelligent man an author can dream up - unless he is writing of his own life in creative situations he may have lived. Cussler can't resist appearing in this story as an eccentric, wealthy yachtsman.
The wonderful computer, Max, a woman naturally, saves time and lives many times. The vision of teleportation comes right out of Starship Enterprise. Then there is the expectation that the aging Pitt will have younger clones joining him in his next adventure. Or will they simply replace him? Hmmm...intriguing.
I'm not sure whom I love the most, Dirk Pitt, Al Giordina, or Sandecker, or maybe Cussler himself, and all the strong, brave women, because of the character descriptions and details of their lives I've followed in preceding stories. As all of you who read Cussler know these characters are sure to show up to save the day as unexpectedly as The Lone Ranger or Spiderman.
What a comfort to find old heroes showing up to solve new mysteries with enough blood and fighting to make any red-blooded person hold their breath for pages at a time. Not good for an old heart. So many details bring the scenes into vivid reality as to make me a part of the action. Do you get the impression that I really like the book?
As much as I want to give you hints of what the story is all about, I will not spoil it for you. Read it for yourself.
G.P. Putnam's Sons
Consider novels by Naomi Sherer available on Amazon
Coming Soon: Beyond Namche, The Open Door, Wildly in the Rockies
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